The Times of India – Rs 1,000 crore push for greener, cleaner Alang

(Written by Kapil Dave & Tushar Prabhune)

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10 January 2015 – Alang shipbreaking yard, which had drawn flak for ig noring environment-friendly practices, will get a major boost with Japan committing Rs1,000 crore for development of the facility according to international green standards. The Japan government will extend Rs1,000 crore as soft loan to the Gujarat government at an interest rate of 1.4% and repayable in 40 years, official sources said.

The officials said that the funding is aimed at making Alang fully capable of handling all the hazardous waste that comes from vessels brought for dismantling. Moreover, Japan accounts for nearly 30% of the shipping business globally and in the upcoming years, many of its ageing ships can be brought to Alang for dismantling.

The funding will be used in three areas -constructing a dry dock, upgrading the existing plots to make them more environment friendly and upgrading the capacity of the present TSDF site where the incinerator has a capacity of five tones per day. “The dry dock will enable the clean-up of `special concern’ vessels, those which carry large amount of contaminated waste like asbestos.The waste thus generated will be treated in the TSDF (Treatment Storage Disposal Facility) site,” said Atul Sharma, deputy general manager (environment cell), Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB).

Around Rs 150 crore will also be used for enhancing facilities of the labourers working at shipbreaking plots. “This partnership will not only enhance advanced environment management at our ports but will also boost the business at Alang, re-establishing it as the hub of ship recycling in the world,” said A K Rakesh, chief executive officer, GMB.

“Once Alang confirms to all the environment rules, it is expected that even the developed countries will start sending their vessels for dismantling here, thus boosting the business. Alang will also become capable to recycle nearly 50% of global shipbreaking business volume,” said Sharma.

Japan team to visit Alang on Jan 12

A high-level 14-member delegation from Japan will embark on a study visit to Alang and Sosiya ship-breaking yards on January 12. The delegation will consist of government officials from the ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism as well as consultants, ship owners and relevant stakeholders in the maritime and shipbreaking industry.